I recently received an email question from a Power of Foodie who is pregnant and wondering about the impact of cows milk on babies.
Here is her email
I am actually 3.5 months pregnant. Excited as this is our first baby. I have been noticing that lots of my friends who have toddler aged kids give them so much milk. Cows milk that is. I have Kris Carr’s description of cows milk being essentially puss stuck in my head and pretty much been off dairy since (except yogurt). My husband and I make your hemp milk recipe as our go to milk and love it. I know you have two young ones and thought you might have some advice on whether kids need cows milk when their growing and if not, what good substitutes might be. Is home made hemp milk or almond milk a suitable option for young kids once past breast milk phase?
I love getting questions that hit home for me in such a powerful way. Growing up only consuming cows milk for dipping my cookies and eating cereal, I know now, the claim of calcium and stronger bones I grew up hearing, was a myth and not “doing my body good”.
As most of you know, dairy production is not the cleanest and with it’s impact on the environment, this is one food group I limit. With measurable amounts of herbicides and pesticides along with over 50 powerful antibiotics found in cows milk, I suffered for far too long and don’t want my children’s health being impacted as mine was.
Increased acidity, lowered immune response and mucus build up are just 3 of the major symptoms I experienced consuming a heavy cow’s milk diet as a child and into my teens and twenties. As soon as I lowered my intake of dairy once I discovered I was pre-diabetic at 26 years old, while increasing my consumption of plant based foods, many of my negative health symptoms began to disappear.
I lost weight, got less colds, felt more energized and no longer needed to live off antacid medication for terrible heartburn once I embraced a dairy-less diet.
Today, over 80% of my diet is plant based and 20% is anything else I want to eat. Dairy of all kinds is not something I cave, so keeping my consumption of cheese, yogurt and cow’s milk to less than 5% is easy to do.
What Milk Does My Family Consume?
Suzie and I started feeding Juliette my Just Do It Hemp Milk during her transition off breast milk and to this day she drinks it daily with her smoothies and cereal. We found it helped provide Juliette with much needed easy to digest protein, essential fatty acids for brain development and energy based quality carbohydrates as we weened her off of breast milk.
Some say a combination of hemp milk, coconut milk and almond milk is ideal as a replacement to breast milk, but we just did hemp.
As far as the need for cows milk, my personal thought, NOT medical thought, is that we are not meant to consume dairy, especially at a young age and at the amounts I once ate it.
Feeding dairy of any kind to your children needs to be an informed decision, not based on what others have told you in the past about it benefits. Today, I still eat dairy (5% as I mentioned) and so does my family, but we do not consume it under the pretence that it is something we need to stay healthy. This just is not the case.
‘If you don’t consume dairy, where do you get your calcium from Adam?’
We get our calcium from loads of plant based foods such as kale, spinach, carrots, sweet potato, sesame seeds, broccoli, legumes, etc. When Juliette was 6 months and now my son Jacob, 8 months, we pureed a lot of carrots and sweet potato. Once Juliette began eating more solids, we started to look for more ways to bring calcium based plant foods listed above into her diet.
Smoothies are by far the easiest way I am able to ensure Juliette and soon Jacob, consume a large amount of nutrients, including calcium, in their daily diet. Why Green Smoothies?
Getting calcium in ones diet, especially your child’s, is important and does not have to be difficult. The power of information is at your fingertips. Spending 30 minutes doing your own research to make better choices for you and your family is too easy to ignore. Get empowered and enjoy being able to look after your loved ones without relying on myths to do it for you.
Do you have a food myth you want to share? Let me know below!
Have a question you want answered? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally respond!